In June 2000 a car hit me, and as I lay bleeding to death in the road I had to make a decision, to die or come back to the pain. I decided to live. There followed a long journey of recovery. Initially 2 days of long operations to put my smashed leg back together with an external fixator and lots of grafts; when my surgeon said he would save my leg if he could, or he may cut it off at the knee, I burst into tears and said “You have to, I’m a climber and a dancer and a cyclist”; followed by 2 years of mostly self-rehabilitation, through which I was treated by a remedial massage therapist. She inspired me to train and I developed my own style of treating intractable injuries, inspiring my patients with my own recovery, learning to live, walk, climb, cycle and dance again. I am left with dreadful scarring to my once-beautiful legs, and a restriction to bending one ankle, but no pain. I continue to work on my ankle and I look forward to being able to bend it fully again.
14 years later I began to write the story of this experience and to ask questions about why I survived at all, and then why I healed so well. I wrote the short publication Indestructible Health which summarises my findings, and interestingly corroborates much research that is currently being published, or recognised that has been already been published for many years.
My previous breathwork training, and my 50% raw and completely wholefood diet, are what I believe saved my life, along with my keen climbing and dancing activities at that time.
In the meantime I had discovered that I had a gift for treating people with chronic injury pain, particularly those with persistent old injuries, and thus founded the Oxford Pain Clinic to bring my skills to the wider pubic. Patients are often fobbed off with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs for debilitating pain and soft tissue damage, that is straightforward, if perhaps tedious, to treat successfully with manual techniques. I found that a patient-centred approach works best, letting the patient's experience of pain and return to mobility, influence treatments.
This is an unusual area, one that is little-studied, or indeed practised. Many people feel that they have to live with painful problems for the rest of their lives. This impression is fostered by conventional practitioners who have no training in healing soft tissue – muscle, tendon and ligament – injuries, so my patients had fought hard to carry a conviction that their injury was curable.
My conclusion is that the body will heal anything as long as it has sufficient oxygen circlulating in the blood to meet the task. This is where I was able to help the patients who came to my clinic. May I add that this includes on all levels. I have had no psychological repercussions following my accident, and I believe that my lifestyle, including daily practices, has meant that I can absorb this experience. I worked with patients to discover the best way for them to increase the available oxygen every day so their body and mind can work to their optimum and serve them well. There really is no need to be ill or suffer.
Since 2017, I have decided to focus on my art, which has always been my passion and now I have the confidence to take it up.
My current bike: a Honda Firestorm. I love big twins. My previous bike was a BMW F800GS, that's the one (with panniers) that I took travelling to faraway places. This is a road bike, though it tackles floods, ice and bumps with surprising grace.